There’s now seemingly a hall of fame for every thing you could possibly think of ranging from athletes to children’s toys, so why not a hall of fame for TV episodes? Be warned there may be spoilers so take a moment to watch the episode before coming back.

You can’t start a completely meaningless and arbitrary hall of fame without inducting the best; therefore there is no better place to start than with a Seinfeld episode. Arguably the greatest sitcom of all time, the show about nothing will undoubtedly see multiple inductees into the hall at some point but the hard part (no pun intended) was selecting the cream of the crop (I did it again) and after some thought “The Contest” (S04E11) was chosen.

Plot Summary: After getting caught by his mother “treating his body like an amusement park” (a brilliant euphemism used in the episode) George claims to never do the deed again. This leads to a “contest” between the main characters to see who can last the longest without doing it again.

  • The fact that both Elaine and Jerry lose a potential partner (John F. Kennedy Jr. and the virgin [from the previous episode] respectively as a result of the contest adds to the episode’s humor
  • Kramer ending up with the nudist across the street is also hilarious given his passionate speech to Jerry early in the episode
  • Costanza’s mom has an excellent monologue midway through mock praising her son’s “talent”
  • Jerry’s opening standup bit is underrated here…No one wants to think of their parents having sex

Why it’s in: TV especially on a giant basic cable network like NBC has always been conservative in the degree of innuendo it can present to the audience. While there is a looser grip (third times the charm) today on what can be said, a lot of credit has to be given to Larry David for tackling a risqué topic without explicitly using the word masturbate.

In doing so “The Contest” handles a controversial issue with a level of class that few shows have been able to do since (if you’ve ever had the misfortune of watching 2 Broke Girls and its barrage of sex jokes you’ll know what I mean).

Add to the fact that “The Contest” is hilarious representing what I consider the apex of Seinfeld (seasons 3-5 are perhaps the show at its best) there is no question that “The Contest” belongs in the TV Episode Hall of Fame.

Where To Watch: Hulu (US), Crackle (Canada), DVD,

On the next meaningless HOF induction: The category is animated and the nominees are

  • Jurassic Bark (Futurama) AKA the most heartbreaking episode possibly in TV history
  • Scott Tenorman Must Die (South Park) AKA one of the darkest animated TV episodes in history
  • Cape Feare (The Simpsons) AKA The first of at least 50 future Simpsons nominees
  • Heart of Ice (Batman The Animated Series) AKA The revival of Mr.Freeze before  Schwarzenegger killed him again

Email/Tweet/Message/ Leave a comment below on who we should induct next!

 

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